By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, June 4: Fourteen people have been reportedly detained by local police in Shigatse County’s Nyamo Township last month after Tibetan locals led a mass appeal against the local County administration to review a botched up investigation into the murder of a Tibetan elderly man in 2016. Shigatse city is considered the second foremost city after Lhasa in The Tibetan Autonomous Region in occupied Tibet.
According to Voice of Tibet, the Deputy Secretary of the local Communist Party branch as well as staff of the office have been detained by the local police for what they said was rousing the locals to rebel and resort to protest. The protest that took place on May 6 was violently cracked down by the Chinese authorities. Sources cited by VOT say that a united stand by 182 households of the Nyamo Township to appeal the local County headquarters was dealt violently by the Chinese police there. A total of 32 vehicles reached the spot to crack down on the peaceful protestors.
While 5 people from the total 14 were later released on May 18, the rest continue to be detained. Local Tibetans have issued a collective demand for the release of those detained while also saying that the Tibetans would stop farming as a form of protest against the authorities.
The local Tibetans have initially called on the local County headquarters to review the murder case investigation where the police had released the suspect after accepting bribe. Locals also allege that the police beat the family of the victim on the behest of the murderer. The outcry of the Tibetans has further been incensed following the violent crackdown.
The region has been under a siege-like lockdown with the deployment of additional personnel as well as scrutiny on the movement and communication of the local Tibetans by Chinese authorities since. Sources also say that the Chinese police have warned Tibetans against the passing of any information on the incident.